Rhymes with "Slurpees"
As everyone who's anyone knows, I'm not great great at updating my diary regularly. (I'll cop to being great at it, but not great great.)
A big reason for this is that a while back I discovered that simply checking the site traffic stats on old content was much easier and equally rewarding as creating new content. It takes less time, it's dynamic at a pace I'm comfortable with, and it helps me feel much more connected to the world; when I see Russia turn dark green on my traffic sources map, it's a powerful reminder that there must be living human beings there, shoveling uranium into the giant machines that produce vodka and automatically check American websites. You'll never feel less alone than when a notion like that flies through your head.
These stats provide a wealth of information about what part of Dandy the world wants. For a long time it was slash fiction. Then it was a post about The Sweetest Thing, I assume because it was the first (of many, now) thing on the Internet that referenced both Cameron Diaz and "a penis with a nail sticking out of it." And then, of course, there was the hobo boom of '11. That's my top entry by something like 400%, and I have the popularity of that hobo picture that I took from some other blog to thank for it. Other Dirty Bindle entries don't even make the list—it's that rascal hobo, and him alone.
And racing up the charts is this unassuming post: It's Official. That post is currently tied for third in all-time visitorship, and it's only something like 9 months old. Why is that?!
I racked by brains. Could it be the focus on Thai electronics? Doubtful; the quality of Thai electronics speaks for itself, and has never needed my help. Yeah, the computers catch fire pretty often, but usually it's because you're using turpentine to clean the housing.
Is the attention due to excitement around faster-than-light spacetravel? I'd like to think so. A groundswell of public interest might get President Nointerstellarexplorationbama off his Buttrack Obuttma and into space! But I don't think that's it. (Full disclosure: I only did that wordplay on the president's name for the NSA site traffic. Topical!)
No, I think that post's popularity comes from the one thing the Internet simply cannot get enough of: herpes. Specifically, genital herpes.
(If you guessed "recording artist Seal" before you read "herpes," you're dead wrong. But I'm just as surprised as you. None of my Seal posts even rank. What gives? Apparently the world still isn't ready to get a little crazy.)
What about genital herpes? It can't be photos, because that post didn't include any. Was it some combination of "Chesterton" and "herpes"? Probably not, because as any GK Chesterton enthusiast knows, the man never had sex with anything that wasn't made of wood, and consequently never came within a hundred miles of a chancre. Splinters, on the other hand ... (before you let your imagination go too wild with that one, non-enthusiasts, all I mean is that the common understanding among Chestertonians is that the man had a small library of life-sized, carved wooden women.)
It seems to me that what the Internet herpes divers of the world are looking for in It's Official was simply this: hope. The possibility that an embarrassing and painful disease could be explained away by a cigar-burnt penis. (Although I'll remind you folks that penis burn scars are also, apparently, forever.)
I think that's all there is to it. And I wish I had more to offer, but nothing comes to mind at this point. I guess aloe is good for most stuff. And who knows? Think back to the last time you were naked around an intense heat source—maybe you'll surprise yourself.
I don't know. I'll give it some more thought, and maybe I can come up with something useful for the four hundred and thirty-three people who have scrabbled desperately through It's Official for one soothing dab of hope. But for now I'll leave you with just this, some words from GK Chesterton himself:
"A wooden lady never turned anyone down, not even for having a wiener as bent as a spider's leg.
Aaaah, you know what? He didn't really say that. I just wanted some Chestertonian traffic too. But it's probably not bad advice. While dealing with an outbreak, why not whittle yourself a nice lady or man to spend time with? Is that gross? No, we're adult medical professionals.